Tag Archives: Sarah Jessica Parker

Gwyneth Paltrow’s Former New York Digs

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While doing some stalking in New York this past December, I just had to snap a photo of Gwyneth Paltrow’s former Greenwich Village townhome, which just happens to be located right around the corner from SJP’s house.  Gwyn purchased this Greek Revival style townhouse back in 1998 when she was still a single New York gal.  She later lived in the four story, four bedroom home with musician husband Chris Martin and their produce-monikered daughter, Apple. The couple decided to put the townhouse on the market in February of 2005 in order to move to a safer building with a doorman – no doubt to help keep the paparazzi at bay.  The home ended up selling in June of ’05 for the bargain price of $6.995 million. 

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I found this location thanks to my go-to NYC stalking guide John’s Star Maps.  Gwyneth’s picturesque former townhome was built in 1899, is 2,800 square feet, and boasts a basement, 3.5 baths, a garden, a rooftop terrace and two washers and dryers.  Which begs the question – who does that much laundry??? LOL  You can view the home’s 2005 real estate listing here.  Gwyn’s house actually reminds me a lot of Kate Hudson’s New York pad which I blogged about a couple of weeks ago and is pictured above.  That’s somewhat ironic because Gwyneth Paltrow and Kate Hudson actually remind me a lot of each other, too. 

Until next time, Happy Stalking!  🙂

Stalk It: Gwyneth’s former Greenwich Village home is located at 278 West Fourth Street.  She currently owns a 3,982 square foot condo in the River Lofts Condo building, located at 92 Laight Street in Tribeca.  Meryl Streep also lives in the same building. 

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The Object of My Affection

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The Object of My Affection is my least favorite of all the Jennifer Aniston movies.  I remember watching it in college and being thoroughly disappointed.  I mean, come on, it has to be one of the crappiest movies ever made.   But if we’re being honest here, has she ever made a good one?  LOL  But when the address of Jen’s sister’s house in The Object of My Affection  was listed in my new fave book Manhattan On Film: Walking Tours of Hollywood’s Fabled Front Lot, I just had to drag my boyfriend out to stalk it.  Good movie or bad, Jen’s still my number one girl!  🙂

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The picturesque brick townhouse showed up only once in the very beginning of The Object of My Affection, as the location where Jen’s wealthy sister and her husband, played by Allison Janney and Alan Alda, throw a lavish dinner party.  It is at this party that Jen meets Paul Rudd, a gay man who will soon become her roommate and the  ill suited “object of her affection”.  In the movie, Paul and his boyfriend are shown exiting the townhouse and arguing in the street on their way home.

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Not only was this townhouse used in The Object of My Affection, but it was also featured briefly in the Season Two episode of  Sex and the City entitled “Take Me Out To The Ballgame”.  In that ep, in order to take her mind off her recent break-up with Mr. Big, Miranda and the girls decide to take Carrie to a Yankees game.   On the way there they pick up Samantha, who is standing outside of the townhouse with her new boyfriend, James.  When I watched the episode recently I immediately recognized the building as The Object of My Affection  townhouse.  🙂  I get asked quite often how I recognize this stuff and my answer is that I have no idea.  LOL  When it comes to filming locations, for some reason I have a photographic memory.  For the life of me I can never remember where I’ve parked my car in a parking lot, but for some odd reason filming locations are forever branded on my brain.  🙂

Until next time, Happy Stalking!  🙂

Stalk It: The Object of My Affection  house is located at 15 East 81st Street on New York’s Upper East Side.

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Gray’s Papaya

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 I know I have blogged about this location briefly once before in my You’ve Got Filming Locations page, but I think this is one location that is worthy of its very own blog post.  So here goes.  🙂  I have long been a fan of Gray’s Papaya, a small hot dog stand/restaurant chain that was started in 1973 on New York’s Upper West Side.  Today, 36 years later, it is practically a New York institution.  Gray’s serves up the BEST darn hot dogs I have ever eaten in my life.  I honestly don’t know what they put in there that makes ’em taste so darn good, but I sure want them to keep doing it!  Every year, during my December New York vacation, I gain a few pounds in my stomach region thanks to Gray’s and its fabulous hot dogs.  So I was super excited, while watching Sex and the City  reruns this past week, to see Gray’s pop up in a Season 5 episode entitled “Plus One is the Loneliest Number”.

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That episode centers around the launch party for Carrie’s newly published book – a party for which she has no date.  When she leaves the celebration all alone, her limo driver happens to ask her what the party was for.  When Carrie tells her that she has just published a book, the driver says that they have to celebrate the occasion and the two stop off at Gray’s Papaya for a midnight snack.  And, after hearing about Carrie’s new book, the Gray’s worker gives them the hot dogs for free.  This scene was actually based on the real life experience of SATC  write Cindy Chupack.  According to fave book Sex and the City: Kiss and Tell, after winning her first Emmy, dateless Cindy left the post-Emmy party alone and was headed home when the limo driver asked her about her night.  When the driver found out Cindy had just won an Emmy, she immediately headed to a McDonald’s drive-through to commemorate the occasion.  After the driver announced that Cindy had just won the award, the McDonald’s worker gave her a free chocolate shake.  🙂  For the SATC  episode, producers decided to use Gray’s Papaya instead of McDonald’s because SJP has always been a big fan of the hot dog chain.  🙂

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Gray’s was also featured quite notably near the end of You’ve Got Mail, as the location where Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks eat lunch just before Meg heads off to meet NY152 for the first time (pictured above). 

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Besides You’ve Got Mail and Sex and the City, Grey’s also showed up in one of my very favorite movies, For Love or Money (pictured above).  It was also featured in Down to Earth, Crossing Delancy, and (very briefly) Die Hard With A Vengeance.

Nicholas A.B. Gray opened up the first Gray’s Papaya in 1973 with the belief that a good hot dog didn’t have to be costly.   Thirty-six years later Gray’s is still serving up excellent dogs at low prices, even if they’ve had to raise those prices a few times over the years.  In October of 2008, due to increased business expenses, Gray’s raised the cost of its ever-popular Recession Special (two hot dogs and a drink) from $3.50 to $4.45.  Still not bad for what is easily the best hot dog in New York.  I highly recommend stalking Gray’s – your pocketbook won’t mind at all.  Your pants’ size might, but not your pocketbook.  🙂

Until next time, Happy Stalking! 🙂

Stalk It: The main Gray’s Papaya – the one that was featured in all of the above productions –  is located at 2090 Broadway Street on New York’s Upper West Side.  There are also two other Gray’s locations in Manhattan.   One is located at 402 6th Avenue and the other can be found at 539 8th Avenue.  All Gray’s restaurants are open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

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Location Scout-ing!

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While in New York, I just had to take a jaunt over to the real life bar which stood in for Scout, the watering hole owned by Carrie and Miranda’s exes, Steve and Aiden, on Sex and the City.  The bar first showed up in the Season Four episode entitled “Ghost Town”, in which Miranda and Carrie are forced to face the ghosts of their relationships past at the grand opening of their exes’ new bar.  Scout (real name Onieal’s Grand Street) showed up quite a few times during Sex and the City’s  run, most notably during Season Four.

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Although I didn’t have a chance to step inside and grab a cocktail at Onieal’s on this trip – as I have said before there was just so much to stalk and so little time – from looking at the interior photographs of the restaurant online, I am guessing that producers chose to use the bar because of its rich mahogany interior.  In SATC, Carrie’s furniture-maker ex-boyfriend Aidan was supposed to have built the entire interior of the bar by hand, and Onieal’s hand carved ceiling (which was flown in from Venice many years ago) and wood-paneled walls fit in perfectly with that idea.

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I found this location thanks to fave stalking book New York: The Movie Lover’s Guide, but Onieal’s is also featured in a fabulous book that I purchased for my boyfriend this past Christmas called The Histories and Stories of the Best Bars of New York.  The chapter on Onieal’s chronicles its sordid history as a speakeasy, a brothel, and a gambling establishment.  Owner Chris Onieal opened up the bar in 1995 on the corner of Grand Street and Centre Market Place, in a space that has housed a bar of one type or another since 1875.  The most notorious bar that stood on that spot was named the Press Room and it was located directly across the street from NYPD headquarters.  During prohibition a tunnel was dug connecting the bar to the police department so that New York’s finest had easy (and secret) access to a watering hole.

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Interestingly enough, in the SATC  episode entitled “Ghost Town”, Carrie brings Aidan a mulberry bush as a bar-warming gift.  She says “Because your new bar is located on Mulberry Street.”  Well, that’s not exactly true.  Onieal’s Grand Street is located on Grand Street, as the name suggests, in between Mulberry Street and Centre Market Place, but on the Centre Market Place side.  Mulberry Street is actually a full block down from Onieal’s entrance.  In the above screen capture, you can see that they even went so far as to put up a street sign saying “Mulberry” outside of the bar.  LOL 

Even though I didn’t have a chance to grab a cocktail at Onieal’s, it is definitely high up on my list of things to do next year.  It looks like a very cool place to spend an evening and I highly recommend stalking it.  🙂

Until next time, Happy Stalking!  🙂

Stalk It: Scout aka Onieal’s Grand Street Bar is located at 174 Grand Street in SoHo.  You can visit their website here.

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Mr. Big’s Church

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One New York location that I have long been wanting to stalk is the church featured in the Season One episode of Sex and the City entitled “Oh Come All Ye Faithful”.  In the episode Carrie, while doing some research on religion for her weekly column, stumbles upon Big and his mother coming out of a church one Sunday morning.  As usual, Carrie gets a bit carried away and returns to that same church the following Sunday, in full church regalia, to spy on Big and his mom.  At the end of the episode, after Mr. Big introduces Carrie to his mother as “my friend”, the two wind up breaking up – for the first of what is to be many times. 

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 This location was fairly easy to find as in the episode Carrie refers to the church as “Park Avenue Presbyterian”.  While not the actual name of the church, when I googled “Park Avenue Presbyterian”, the address of a Presbyterian church located on Park Avenue popped up and, sure enough, it was the one used in the episode.  In real life it is named Central Presbyterian Church and it is currently undergoing renovations, so I was not able to get the best photographs of it.  But you can see in the above screen captures that the exterior doors look just as they did on SATC.

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Filming for the “Oh Come All Ye Faithful” episode took place both inside and outside of the church.  And while I did venture inside for a quick peek at the interior, I didn’t take any photographs as I have to admit I would have felt just slightly uncomfortable taking pictures inside of a church for the sole reason that a show by the name of “Sex and the City” was filmed there.  I would have just died if a priest had walked up to me and asked me what I was doing!  LOL  The church is very beautiful inside, though, with stained glass windows, stone archways, and a huge altar, and I am happy to report that it looks very much the same today as it did back in 1998 when the episode was filmed.

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While there, I just had to take a picture across the street from the church, at the location where Carrie stands when she first spots Big and his mom.  The really sad part about this photograph is that I hadn’t actually seen the “Oh Come All Ye Faithful” episode for a while, yet, for some reason, I still remembered exactly how Carrie was standing in the scene.  I am beginning to think I really need to get a life!  LOL  Turns out, though, that while I had Carrie’s pose down pat, I actually had the wrong location!!  LOL    As you can see in the above screen capture, Carrie is actually standing in front of the building to the right of the one I posed in front of.  LOL  Although that building has since been painted white, it still has the same wrought iron window coverings with circular cut-outs. 

Until next time, Happy Stalking!  🙂

Stalk It: Central Presbyterian Church is located at 593 Park Avenue on New York’s Upper East Side.  You can visit their website here.  In “Oh Come All Ye Faithful”, Mr. Big and his mom exit from the church’s side doors which are located on 64th Street.  The brownstone where Carrie stands in the episode is located just across the street at 107 East 64th Street.

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Via Quadronno

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One of my favorite places in all of Manhattan is a teeny, tiny Upper East Side cafe named Via Quadronno.  I stumbled upon the cafe three years ago, but had yet to blog about it because up until my recent New York vacation I had no idea what a major celebrity stomping ground it was.    Two weeks ago, while sipping cappuccino in the cafe’s cozy dining room, I happened to ask our server if any celebs had ever frequented the restaurant.  I was shocked at her response!  It seems Via Quadronno has its very own celebrity fanclub, with members including Madonna, Sean Connery, Robin Williams, Steve Martin, Scarlett Johansson, ARod, Tom Hanks, Matt Dillon, and, my fave, SJP and her husband, Matthew Broderick.  

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But not only is Via Quadronno somewhat of a celeb hot spot,  it’s also a filming location!  Well, sort of.  🙂  While watching SATC  reruns the other day (which is the only known cure for New York homesickness), I was bowled over when I noticed Carrie and her friend Skipper walking past Via Quadronno’s exterior in the Season One episode entitled “Models and Mortals”.  At the time the episode was filmed, though, way back in 1998, the space was actually occupied by a different cafe altogether – a chocolatier named La Maison Du Chocolat.   But the exterior still looks very much the same – it’s just a lot cuter now. 

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To be honest, I actually didn’t recognize the restaurant at first.  What I recognized was the large green sign located behind Carrie in the above pic.  I knew I had seen the sign in person before, but I just couldn’t place where.   Thankfully my boyfriend was standing nearby and exclaimed “Hey, that’s the gold dealer that’s next door to Via Quadronno.”  🙂  Eureka!  We had walked by that sign everyday on our way to have morning cappuccinos.   Maybe my boyfriend’s a better stalker than I give him credit for.  🙂

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I HIGHLY recommend staking Via Quadronno – it’s definitely worth the trip even if you don’t encounter any celebs during your meal.  The tiny cafe (seating capacity is 40!) is absolutely ADORABLE!  Their croissants are out of this world and normally I don’t even like croissants!  LOL  My family and I ate breakfast there every single morning while in New York and we never, ever got tired of it.  It is the best!!!!  In fact, it’s been voted the “Best in New York” several years in a row.  No wonder celebs love it!  🙂  I’ve only ever visited Via Quadronno for breakfast, but I hear their dinners are amazing, as well.  I honestly can’t say enough about this place!  Go, go, go to this restaurant – for the charming atmosphere, amazing food, friendly service, and celeb clientele! 

Until next time, Happy Stalking! 🙂

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Stalk It: Via Quadronno is located at 25 East 73rd Street on New York’s Upper East Side.  The chain also has restaurants in Tokyo, Hong Kong, and Coral Gables, Florida.  You can visit their website here. 

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“And Your 40s Are To Pay For the Drinks!”

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Another day, another SATC  location.  🙂  One of the must-see locales of my NYC stalking vacation was the bar where Carrie Bradshaw and her personal assistant, Louise, drank Bellini’s and commiserated over their broken hearts in Sex and the City: The Movie.  The bar used in the film is called Bemelman’s and it is located inside the famed Carlyle Hotel on New York’s Upper East Side.  According to fave book Sex and the City: The Movie, the SJP flick was the very first production ever allowed to film inside the legendary bar.    It is at Bemelman’s that Carrie gives Louise this sage piece of advice: “Enjoy yourself – that’s what your 20s are for.  Your 30s are to learn the lessons.  And your 40s are to pay for the drinks!”  🙂  Love it!  🙂

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Bemelman’s is named after the creator, illustrator, and author of the popular Madeline children’s book series, Ludwig Bemelman, whose murals adorn the bar’s many walls.  Over fifty years ago, the Carlyle Hotel commisioned Bemelman to paint large scenes of animals frolicking in Central Park on the walls of their lobby bar.  Instead of being paid for this feat, Bemelman and his family were given free room and board at the luxury hotel for a year and a half.   Not a bad deal!  🙂 Bemelman’s Bar has long been a favorite of both celebrities and native New Yorkers alike.   In fact, SJP is a longtime fan of the Carlyle in general.   She spent many an evening at Cafe Carlyle, the hotel’s cabaret restaurant, while dating then-boyfriend Matthew Broderick.  In fact, the two even spent their honeymoon at the Carlyle.  🙂  Currently Bemelman’s is a favorite stomping ground of Suri Cruise, who regularly attends the Saturday children’s tea with her famous mom. 

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Unfortunately, we didn’t have time to grab a cocktail in Bemelman’s during this New York vacay – so many places to stalk, so little time.  😦  But I did pop my head in for a little looksie.  The cocktail waitress even let me take some pics at the bar area, even though photographs are typically not allowed.  From what I saw in the few minutes I was there, Bemelman’s looks like a very cool place to grab a drink and it’s easy to see why producers chose it for a little SATC  filming.  The bar is dark, intimate, cozy, and so very New York.  It even features a 24-carat gold leaf ceiling – I’m not kidding!   And to commemorate the filming that took place there in late 2007, Bemelman’s even named a drink after SATC’s  leading lady.  “The Bradshaw” is a mixture of Don Julio Blanco tequila, lime juice, cane sugar simple syrup, and X-Rated Passion Fruit Liquor.  The drink is, of course, pink and  is served in a martini glass dusted with pink sugar.  Love it!

Until next time, Happy Stalking! 🙂

Stalk It: Bemelman’s Bar is located at 35 East 76th Street, inside the famed Carlyle Hotel.

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